Pebble Creek
Snow-off-the-meadow Contest

2022 Winning dates: APRIL 22 and 27!
Winning guesses by
JENNIFER BETZ (whose birthday it was), JESSICA JOHNSON, ERIN NORDLOF, and BILL BETZ (April 24), and JOHN EISEMANN (April 27)

The prize will be split, with equal shares awarded to each winner.




The annual game is called
"Guess when the snow will leave the meadow"
... or, more quantitatively, guess when the snow water equivalent (SWE) level at the Snotel site on Rock Creek in Eagles Nest Wilderness (Summit County CO) falls below five inches. The graph at the right shows those dates since 1980. The red line (linear regression) shows that the date has been getting earlier by 11 hours per year.


To see the current status, rollover graph to the left

  • A little background: Bulah Walls (1906-1997) owned the Summit Guest Ranch on Pebble Creek from 1936 until 1980. She said that the snow went off the meadow "about May tenth" each year. That is a rather subjective assessment. So, in order to give it a more objective basis, we checked the average amount of snow historically on May 10 at the Snotel weather station on Rock Creek; it was about 5 inches of "snow water equivalent." So the game is to guess when the SWE first falls below five inches. Please note that as global temperatures rise, the date has been getting earlier than May 10 over time (since 2012, it has never been on or after May 10).
    2022 GUESSES
  • 13 April - Harlee Sorkin
  • 20 April - Bo Chapin
  • 21 April - Conny Ridge, Peter Lord, Andrea Herre
  • 22 April - Bill Betz, Lee & Jessica Johnson, Jennifer Betz, Erin Nordlof
  • 24 April - Martin Herre
  • 25 April - Joan Betz, Brandi Holston
  • 27 April - John Eisemann
  • 28 April - Lisa Bernard, Jay Browne
  • 28 April - Bob Holston, Michael Hoke
  • 30 April - Maria Eisemann
  • 1 May - Emmy Betz
  • 2 May - Scott Simcox
  • 3 May - Ray Hedenberg
  • 5 May - Mickey Family
  • 20 May - Bill Porter
  • 2022 COMMENTS
  • Bill Betz - Same as last year - Jen's BEarthday
  • Conny Ridge - V's birthday!
  • Harlee Sorkin - That's depressing...
  • Bo Chapin - grandson's and my birthday
  • David Mickey - It's our son's birthday, as well as feeling optimistic about late season snow, which would always be a good thing.
  • Jay Browne - I've foregone a scientific analysis in favor of my psychic powers... April 28 is the magic award winning date!
  • Ray Hedenberg - May 3 (daughter's birthday)


  • PAST YEARS

    2021 GUESSES (winning dates: April 19, 24, and 25)
  • 16 April - Jay Browne (4/13)
  • 18 April - Linda Hedenberg
  • 19 April - Doug Spainhower
  • 20 April - Bo Chapin, Harlee Sorkin
  • 21 April - Martin Herre
  • 22 April - Bill Betz
  • 23 April - Lisa Kendall
  • 24 April - Maria Eisemann, Michael Hoke, Bill Porter
  • 25 April - Andrea Herre
  • 26 April - Sue Bonfield & Dave Schimel
  • 27 April - Nordloff Family
  • 28 April - Meredith Lord
  • 29 April - David Kornhauser, Antony Ridge
  • 30 April - Jen Betz
  • 1 May - Joan Betz, Johnson Family
  • 2 May - Lisa Bernard, Penny Francis
  • 3 May - Polly Drew, Peter Lord, John Eisemann, Ray Hedenberg
  • 4 May - Greg Bernard, Mickey Family
  • 5 May - Emmy Betz, Conny Ridge
  • 12 May - Scott Simcox

    2021 COMMENTS
  • Bill Betz - "Jen's BEarthday - April 22"
  • Harlee Sorkin - "Please mail my winning check to ..."
  • Martin Herre - "thanks for including us! I am guessing Apr21 - low snow year and warm temps to boot"
  • John Eisemann - "I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be spot on this year and get meteorological bragging rights!"
  • Michael Hoke - "Based entirely on my experience today (4/8) of Denver's heat wave, I am going to guess that the snow will be gone by April 24."
  • Johnson Family - "Having consulted with our son's new puppy (a far cry from a groundhog but will have to do in a pinch), it feels like a slightly early spring so I'm going with May 1st!"
  • Penny Francis - "Hard to visualize snow when we are sitting in 80+ weather in Texas so we will take a gamble at May 2nd"
  • Antony Ridge - "Violet and I remember when there was a hefty snow fall on 4th/5th July, and the meadow was white, but that was a one-off after a snow clear- time and so wouldn't have counted"
  • Conny Ridge - "My guess is May the 5th, solely on the fact that the 5th of May was Liberation Day in Holland in 1945. So you might be liberated from the snow too."
  • Mickey Family - "May 4. And that is truly a guess."
  • Bill Porter - "I will go for April 24 my birthday!"
    2020 RESULTS (winning date: May 2)
  • 27 April - Erin Nordloff
  • 28 April - Mattias Nordloff
  • 30 April - David Kornhauser
  • 2 May - Scott Simcox
  • 3 May - Linda & Ray Hedenberg; Meredith Lord, John Eisemann
  • 4 May - Bill Betz
  • 5 May - Jennifer Betz
  • 6 May - Jay Brown
  • 7 May - Peter Lord
  • 8 May - Eric Malmborg
  • 9 May - Doug Spainhower
  • 10 May - Mickey family, Lee Johnson
  • 11 May - Sam Kirk
  • 12 May - Lisa Kendall, Joan Betz
  • 14 May - Michael Hoke
  • 15 May - Emmy Betz
  • 22 May - Penny Francis & Ray Petereit
  • 1 June - Maria Eisemann
    2019 RESULTS (winning date was May 5)
  • Joan Betz - May 1
  • Ray Hedenberg - May 3 (4:47pm)
  • Michael Hoke, Lisa Kendall - May 4
  • Erin Nordlof, Eric Malmborg, Michael Rapp - May 8
  • Emmy Betz - May 9
  • Bill Betz, Jennifer Betz - May 10
  • Scott Simcox, John Eisemann - May 11
  • Penny & Ray Petereit - May 12
  • Linda Hedenberg - May 14
  • Jay Browne - May 15
  • Meredith Lord - May 16
  • Polly Drew, Lee Johnson - May 17
  • Mattias Nordlof, Sam Kirk - May 18
  • Doug Spainhower - May 20
  • Maria Eisemann - May 28
  • Bob Wyler - June 1
    2018 RESULTS (winning date was April 25)
  • Ray Hedenberg - March 28
  • Meredith & Peter Lord - March 30
  • Michael Hoke, Terese Swartz - April 1
  • Emmy Betz - April 2
  • Bill Betz - April 3
  • Jennifer Betz - April 5
  • Lisa Kendall - April 8
  • Sam Kirk, Mike Beach - April 10
  • Jay Browne - April 11
  • Doug Spainhower - April 12
  • Lee Johnson - April 13
  • Joan Betz - April 15
  • Bill Porter - April 17
  • Mattias Nordlof - April 20
  • John Eisemann - April 21
  • Maria Eisemann, Erin Nordloff - April 25
    2017 RESULTS (winning date was April 18)
  • Marshall McKinney - April 12
  • Doug Spainhower - April 15
  • Lee Johnson - April 17
  • Eric Malmborg - April 18
  • Adam Poe - April 19
  • Bill Betz - April 20
  • Jay Browne - April 21
  • Emmy Betz - April 22
  • John Eisemann - April 23
  • Joan Betz - April 24
  • Scott Simcox - April 25
  • Erin Nordlof - April 26 (late entry)
  • Diane Simcox - May 1
  • Debbie Liptzin - May 6
  • Maria Eisemann - May 9
  • Harlee Sorkin - May 10
    2016 RESULTS: The winning date was May 5 (noon); the winners were Sam Kirk & Bill Betz (tie)
    Meredith Lord - April 1
    Peter Lord - April 5
    Lee Johnson - April 7
    Joan Betz - April 8
    Linda Hedenberg - April 10
    Emmy Betz - April 14
    Lindsay Lord - April 18
    Deb Liptzin - April 20
    Jen Betz - April 22
    Marshall McKinney - April 25
    Lisa Kendall - April 27
    Jay Browne - April 28
    Erin Nordloff - May 1
    Doug Spainhower - May 2
    Bill Betz - May 3
    ACTUAL DATE - May 5, noon
    Sam Kirk - May 7

    2015 RESULTS: The winning date was April 11; Jay Browne was the winner.
    B Betz 4/5
    B Rapp 4/6
    M Rapp 4/9
    J Browne 4/10
    ACTUAL DATE 4/11

    J Betz 4/13
    L Johnson 4/15
    L Hedenberg 4/17
    M Hoke 4/18
    ME Betz 4/20
    JS Betz 4/22
    S kirk 4/25
    R Hedenberg 5/3